Thursday, March 31, 2011

Miss Chops got new digs, Caesar went walkabout and Lilly is on Poppies short list.

I got a short reprieve outside, with permission from Poppie, in the late afternoon, to see the babies. Mokie, Yogie, Booboo, the grand kids, pseudo grand kids and I got to go play with the new babies. The older little girls were coming up to us in a short while jumping up for attention or a pet, then running away jumping and frolicking. They are just getting curious and they love to get their pets. They are not as fond of the kids carrying them but would come back again and again the play. The two littlest one weren't sure that we were ok but put up with us. One of the little black ones in coal black with lacy white markings, Lacey, the other one is turning pretty brown with black and white markings, Mokie is getting her and hasn't named her. Their mom Lilly, Poppie's favorite, is a nervous momma and has brought them out among the goats sooner than I would have liked, but she would not stay in the barn without being locked in.

Poppie had spent the early afternoon, fixing up the sows regular pen with the intent of moving her out of the birthing pen. The kids and Mokie had gone next door to Mokie's to play so Poppie and I were ready to move Miss Chops. Our pigs all have food names, but the momma pigs get to have Miss in front of their names to honor their being our mommas. Miss Chops was excited when Poppie began unlocking her gate, he usually just steps over the fence, so she knew something was up. She was so excited that she kept pinching his fingers as he unwrapped the security wires on her gate. I got a bucket of food and tried to get her to come away so Poppie could finish his chore and not lose a finger. She did come over to see what I had in the bucket but was to interested enough to stay away for Poppie. When the gate was open we started to lure her with the grain in the bucket but she had other ideas, she run around jumping and playing, we were not worried about her getting away, as both pig pens are in the confines of the goat pen. She however decided that scaring Goats and goats babies was a fun time. She ran toward them and they would scatter and as they regularly steal her grain she was getting a little payback. Poppie was not happy with her so went to the house and got the slop bucket, she followed him like a kitten into her new home. She happily ate her slop, dug and rearranged the dirt and dug up everything to her liking. She was very happy to be back home.

Caesar had watched Poppie carry bucket after bucket of grain from Poppie's shop to the sow pen, he had seemed unusually interested in the whole process. The buck pen is on one side of Poppie's shop and the doe and pig pens on the other side. We had just gotten Miss Chops moved and walked out to make rounds at the buck pen, to our surprise Caesar was no where to be found. We checked all the shelters, Rommy was in his, Beets and Stew were quietly chewing their hay, no Caesar anywhere, and as he is about 300 lbs his being out of his pen is a concern. He is not aggressive but is equipped with a massive set of horns and can us them if cornered up and scared. There were no dogs barking and he was not in the yard anywhere. Poppie was just going to go check at the neighbors and I, Mokie's, when Poppie thought about Caesar's interest in the grain, sure enough he was in Poppie's shop eating grain. We put a leash on him and walked him back to his pen. We couldn't not find a place where he could have gotten out, so Poppie though maybe he had jump over, or crawled over in his case, Boers don't usually jump well, where the wire seem bent down. No other apparent sign of where he could have gotten out.

Poppie and I were alone in the early evening, the girls were spending the night with Mokie,  when he decide to walkover and talk to the neighbor who was using his backhoe to move his new hot tub. I was on the couch watching tv, after having bathed and gotten into my pj's. Poppie was gone a along time. I really was wondering why he was gone so long when he came in the house. He was not happy, he had been at the neighbors and Mokie had gone over to tell him Lilly and Caesar were playing in the driveway. Caesar was out, again, Poppie had to put him back in the pen. Lilly was out, but Lilly gets out at will, she can and does jump the fence when she wants. Poppie was mad at her because she had left her babies alone by the gate. He put her back and hopes she turns into a good momma, she seems to be but Poppie is doubting her now. She is a first time momma.  The day finally slowed down and we got to watch a movie together. Today I get to go out and help figure out where Caesar is getting out at, so more outside time, even if it will be short lived........ Tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

We have had an explosion of new life on our little farm, all in ones and twos.

I am trying to get well, and stay well; but I am, unfortunately, the little engine that could in most of the things I put my mind to, which is not always good.  I therefore have gotten a little well and tried to go gun ho back into life and have set myself back. Poppie is trying to help me help myself back to good health so yesterday grounded me to the house until I am truly well. However last night after having to spend the hole day in, no milking, no baby visiting or no anything else, he calls me out to the goat barn. His Lilly had had two beautiful little girls. Black with white blazes, too cute and beautiful foils to all of the little white baby we have. I was not allowed, mind you, to stay outside long, before Poppie hurried me into my jail again. I do love that Poppie takes such good care of all of us.

Yesterday was M's real birthday and she was ecstatic to have new babies born on her special day. They did come out before the black babies were born and daughter took some photos of Mokie, the kids and babies, as I was not allowed to go to watch them see the babies.

We have now had two sets of bucklings, one of which died with his mamma, a set that we have sold one from, he will be here until weaned. We have had two sets of doelings, and one single doeling. We have one doe left to kid but it should be in the first part of May. God has blessed our little farm with good healthy, well bred babies, human and goat, but then I may be just a little prejudice..... Have a nice day, I hope to be furlowed but not thinking I will be today maybe...... Tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Winslow in 1970 was a whole different world for this little Montana/Idaho girl.

My grandmother moved to Samoa, in July, my sister, Little Sister was born, in August, by Christmastime, my dad had lost his job, with no warning the mill was on a two week layoff then they shut the mill down, my parents went bankrupt, we lost our house, our car and our way of life. We moved to Winslow Arizona, in a 200 dollar car with a u-haul trailer. Where were seven of us kids, several dogs, mom and dad. We moved into a little trailer two days before Christmas, dad sold the washer/dryer unit for a little money. They bought the ugliest little bull pine tree, it looked just like Charlie Brown's tree. The boys each got a knife, I got a Barbie and Sister got a Mancunian, there were no other dolls in town, the department store sold it to my mom. It was just Sister's size. To this day this is the only Christmas I remember the gifts we got for Christmas. The churh helped us move into the Chicana Gardens apartments, nicer part of town. My mom got very sick and the church ladies brought us food. We were very hunger, after 3 weeks dad finally got paid. Our dogs lived at the sawmill where dad worked. We moved into a little house.

I remember liking alot of things about Winslow, I learned to swim in a muddy little river in the desert. I was introduced to the first people of different races in my life. My dad's fitter, assistant, was a large African American, he always seemed to know when my mom would be making cinnamon rolls and send my dad home early that day to get him some. Most of the kids in my classroom were Native Navajo kids, they almost all lived at the boarding school, there were a couple of white kids and two African American boys. I had a crush on the two native boys, they were cousins, one could draw but the other was cuter, I loved to draw, won my first art contest there. One day the teacher made us get under the desk a sandstorm was coming, the red wind blew and we were covered with a half inch of red clay when it was done. Our neighbor lady had a beautiful baby boy, and the rumors were wrong, he was born black much to the amazement of the 10 year old I was. Our neighbor kids across the street were Hispanic. One day when we were eating dinner when the door bell rang, I went to answer the door and it crashed open shoving me to the ground. The woman had a man attached to her, his hands wrapped around her throat, they smashed into the dinner table throwing food everywhere. My dad jump up and got the man off of our neighbor lady. The cops came and took the man, her husband, away. We never had cops in our house before, no, not even once. My dad had to go to court, the man represented himself, He told the judge he wasn't in our house, but when he cross examined my dad, he asked my day why he had stepped on his throat he had him on the floor. The judge threw out the case and the man was deported back to Mexico. The neighbor boys and their mom were so happy, they came over to visit lots after he was gone.

My mom got an infected tooth in the summer, she went to the dentist but he would not pull the tooth it, it was too infected, He gave her infection pills and morphine, she came home took the infection pills and some of the morphine, it didn't make the hurting stop, so she went into the bathroom with a leather punch. I watched her pull it out, she was in a lot of pain, she went into her room took more of the morphine and told me not to let her go to sleep and to watch the kids. It was a long time until Daddy got home.

We were in Arizona 10 months when we got to come home. We moved home to the Corvallis area and lived in an extended family members house. My dad worked in Missoula at the mill where southgate maul is now, the mill burned to the ground in January, we move to Plains shortly thereafter and dad worked at the mill there.

I have a great love of the south on many levels to this day. I began my love of Native American cultures there. I also remember the very small Navajo children, the ones to young for the boarding schools, crying in the front of the bars by their moms. The moms dressed in beautiful velvet skirts and wonderful embroidered blouses passed out on the sidewalk people stepping over them as they walked down the street, no one helped them and no one helped the babies stop crying. I would love to travel route 66 to explore some of the old stops but not sure I can ever balance the childhood fears that were never put to rest..... tomorrow.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Little Sister comes for a surprise visit, a welcomed treat.

My Little Sister, her husband Brother2 and her daughter, Freckles, came to visit. It was real nice surprise, Little Sister, is 10 years younger than I am. She was 9 when I got married, she is the oldest of her part of the family, the three little girls. She therefore shares my place in the family in many ways, the oldest sister, the sister that got the responsibility of helping with the younger siblings, except she did have all of us older ones to help her. But once we were all gone she was the oldest in her own right. She is a strong, well rounded person. Smart as a whip but that is something very common in our family, alot of genius level, just never developed to what outsiders would consider to potential, I think it is just  paper, smart is as smart does. We developed our abilities as best we could without the benefit of College. Saylavee..

Little Sister and Brother2 became parents when they were both 17,  Brother2 went to school and held down a 40 hour a week job, Little sister got her GED and a job and both are two of the hardest working people I know. Brother2's mom, the president of our local bank, taught them well to use their money well. They have a nice home and have always had enough to give their kids what they wanted to give them. They have two older kids and one, Freckles, that is 10 years younger, a surprise to their lives when she came along. They will be getting there second grandchild soon. They are horse people. My Little Sister is the manager of her office, and Brother2 due to a closure in his long time job, is now commuting to North Dakota so is gone 2 to 3 weeks and home a couple weeks. So yesterdays visit was a real treat that they shared, their special time together, by coming to see us. They live about 50 miles away from us and have for about 17 years. I would say she and I would be very close if we had more time together as it is, we have never had a fight and have a deep love and respect of each other, when she had surgery a few years back I got to go help her and Freckles for a couple of days, a very nice time.

They came and we got to share our goat with them, they had to see all the new babies. When they got here Freckles said "I don't like goats much, I like horses."  when she left she was taking about getting a goat from us next spring for her 4-H project. Goats really do grab ahold of your heart and not let go. She got to help feed the bums. Brother2 at one point ask who the little fellow running down the driveway was, Little Sister informed him it was not a fellow it was our Cubbie. She is the spitting image of Mokie at the same age, and since Mokie is only 14 years younger than Little Sister, she has a little dirty face that Little Sister well remembers, dirt and all. Brother2 got to take home eggs and that made his day, he loves the pigs and would love to have one but his neighbors would have a fit. We had a wonderful day and as Little Sister, is not caught up in any real family baggage, as she escaped it and never looked back, it is always wonderful to spend time with her. Love that we can just have a relationship that is about us and nothing else.  All in all a great restfull Sunday, good family, good weather and God's blessing..... tomorrow.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Poppie finds a surprise in the Goat barn!

We are still all in various stages of being ill, but trying to get out and about to get the chores done. The goats, pigs, chicken and peacocks don't feed or milk themselves so even when the whole house is sick, somebody has to feed and take care of the animals. Morning chores went well, Mokie and I milked, Poppie used the milk to feed the bums, all were hayed and setup to their satisfaction. I did as much housework as I could and took lots of rest breaks. Yogie is currently the most ill, so she spent a good deal of the day in bed, Booboo who was the worst is now at a stage where she wants to pester her sister so is on the mend. M had a birthday party in the afternoon but, we were to ill to attend, so will spend time with her on Tuesday which is her actual birthday. Mokie, Boy, Cubbie and Pseudo grand kids went to the party. We were just being lazy watching tv when Poppie went out to get wood, and feed the animals for early evening chores.

Poppie came into the house and said "you need to come out to the goat barn." I couldn't imagine what he needed but went anyway. All my goats either had babies or weren't due yet, so had to see what was wrong. I got out there and Snowpine, the little Saanen/Alping cross had a beautiful Little girl by her side. She had done it all alone and was merrily taking care of her little baby. The baby is the oddest marked little thing, grays and whites. Not at all what I expected. She was due to have a baby about a month ago by the calendar the lady I had bought her from had told me. I had just figured when she didn't have the the baby she must have not been bred when I got her and would have babies in May, the earliest she could have if bred to my buck. But no here stands a totally unexpected little sweetie. She must have gotten the color from her alpine side, she would only be a quarter alpine, but has the color. I had Poppie got get Booboo, as she was on the mend and needed a little out of the house time. She also was in line to get to name this baby. She came out and got to enjoy the surprise baby. She is contemplating the names of Sweetie, Sassy, Sahara and Scarlet.

Mokie came home from the party and Poppie called her over from her house. He told her one of the goats was in danger, he is a bit of a trickster at times. She came over and was totally worried one of my goats was dying. She was happily surprised to see the little sweetie. She really would like to talk Booboo out of this baby as Son has his heart set on full blood Saanen, I told her I would see what the other two have before I made a decision on which does I want to keep. I actually have 6 with Clover and want to try and stay at 6 or 7 so maybe she will get this one, undecided yet. She and Booboo are fighting over the name, too funny, it really doesn't matter that here is 19 years different in their ages they still have that sisterly relationship at times.

I got a buyer for one of my little bucklings and a possible for the second so all in all it was a nice rounded day. Booboo did throw up from being out in the cold to long and Yogie got to see the baby for a quick minute before I made her go back in. ... Saturdays are nice....tomorrow.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

I am at my core a realist, so see things in a simple real way, I hope?

I went into writing this blog with the thought that I would write daily, if possible, and would write anything that came to mind that day. I hope I am being honest with myself in my writings, sort of a journal that I can share with my children and grandchildren in the future. I choose to share it with anyone who cares to read it, some of you know me and may think I am not being real, others may think too much so and yet others will read just to see if I am a train wreck. All are welcome, this is for me and hopefully cathartic.

I like to name things with a thought to a reasons that are easy to remember. My goat are flowers, great ladies or came with names, my ladies are Rosie, Cleo, Lily, Jewels, Snowpine, and Clover, the bucks are Caesar, Zeus, and Romesis. The food goats are beets, stew, dessert, and radish. Poppies dogs are Minnie, Mickey, Muddles, Cash, Lewie and Lady Jay, all more or less cartoons. The peacocks are Prince and Duke, or Princess died so have to get them a new lady. The chickens alas are name less...

I took this idea of naming into my thought when I decided to write about people in my blog. They didn't make a choice to be in my blog, they are the people in my life, so I decided with all of the closest people in my life I would give them names that reflect their place in my life or how I think of them,  the nicknames I actually call my kids, or with Poppie and I who are grandkids call us. So maybe it is time too explain why they have their names.

Goofy, Bug, Mokie, are my older kids nicknames from when they were little children. The girls each had a cartoon character, that I called them. Bug, loved bugs as a child and it just fit. Yogie is smarter than the average and Booboo is her voice of reason, I have called them these nicknames since they were little and we looked for Ranger Smith in the woods. My grandkids, Eldest actually doesn't have a nickname and he is the eldest so I gave him that one.  M is a shortening of her actual name and we do call her that. Buga is so like Bug that she has always been Buga after him. Boy is all boy and I have always called him boy. Cubbie is like a little bear in a china shop so is my little cubbie bear. Song's real name means song so it was apt, I rarely get to see her and miss her. I didn't give Riley a name, and won't with his new sister, as I don't know them and probably won't get to so don't have a name to give them. Daughter and Son, are just that my daughter and son, in my large family the in laws are just like the outlaws, the original children, so we treat them as such.

I have spoken about the friends in my life, I once was playing a game where you are asked a number off of the top of you head, mine is always 7. The answer was that that is the number of meaningful friends you will have in you life, for me it is close to right. Sister, is probably my closest friend, on many levels, we were raised together know each other to the core of our beings and endured the same things, Poppie and I stood up for her and her husband when they got married, she is my sister and friend. Twin, has been my friend since I was a teenager, she was born 16 hours after me, one of her husbands believed in astrology and did our charts, he said we were astrological twins. I don't believe in astrology but the process was intriguing, so who am I to judge the way God speaks to people. The weird thing is that things do happen to us similarly, though we have almost never lived near one another. We are more like the ying to the others yang. Republican/democrat, fat/thin, liberal/conservative..... she has always been in sinc with me, even if we haven't seen each other in years, we can finish the conversation we were having like we didn't miss a word.  Lady and I have know who each other were since we were teenagers, we have been very close friends and more distant friends in our relationship. She is very much a lady and girlie girl, she is one of my closest friends, we just don't always know how to stay close or the changes in our lives make our relationship web and flow. Shorts is one of my longer known friends, she and I have know each other about 25 years, tried to get time to be friends when our kids were little but didn't really have time, we are now getting to renew our long time friendship in a way that it much closer and more meaningful. I have great hopes for the future of the relationship. Belle, is my newest friend, we have lots in common, God, kids, animals and live style. We hit it off right away, we don't always see eye to eye but that is probably a good thing.

 Mokie is my closest confidante, she is my lovely daughter and my cohort in trouble, she loves me for who I am and sees me as I am, yet still loves me. Daughter, was raised with my girls, she was Goofy's best friend growing up, she and Goofy many times were mean to Mokie, as kids are, she has called me mom a good portion of her life, she came to me many a time when her folks divorced just to be there. she is my daughter in law, and a great friend. Goofy, was once my dearest friend but no longer has the ablity to love me that way, I unfortunately knew, as Daughter did, that when we became the mothers of her children we could no longer be that close to her any more, she loved the children, in the moment enough to give them to us, but hated us for having them. We both still love her but it is probably an unattainable relationship to renew. The babies need us now, Goofy, is an adult and the choice was made, as hard as the results are some days. It is never easy to have to chose between your children and I rarely do. I love my children as individuals and they are each special and my favorite, God made only one of each of them, they are all special. ........

Friday, March 25, 2011

Large families are so much more complicated than little ones, do you want mine?

By the nature of the beast large families are a different creature than the average two child family. You share your mother and father what seems like to the tenth degree with every knew child. There are times I describe my status in my family as being replaced each time, I have been replaced 11 times, it seems, sometimes. I am not sure that is always the case in all the large families but it is in mine. I am not sure that my parents would see it that way but it does to me. My parents are also not huggy or kissy people, or for that matter, people that ever use the term I love you alot. They do love but in a quieter way I suppose. I know that every child has a unique relationship with their parents and I was not different in my family.

My father having come from a family of eight children. His mother the youngest of 11 siblings, that got 7 step siblings after her mothers death when she was 6 months old, and then later her father remarried again ,someone 6 months younger than her, and had 4 more children. His father one of four, all 8 years apart in age. I have said before my mom had one sibling. I think my father knows a great deal about big families and did well living in one. My mother learned along the way and in more ways than one stopped growing when she was 24 when her mother died. I am one of 38 first cousins, I have 26 nieces and nephews, and 8 great nieces and nephews, so far. One large family anyway you state it. It was common a hundred years ago every one had one. I think my family is a great deal like a hundred years ago as well. We are dysfunctional and most of us don't actually want to live anywhere near one another, long term, or at least near some of them. I think they had it right in the "breakfast club" if we weren't dysfunctional no one would ever leave home and we would live with our parents forever.

I think that in many ways my parents gave us great bases for life, hard work ethic, we can all clean, cook, knit, crochet, quilt, can, etc.... and that includes both girls and boys. What they didn't know was how to take care of money, and we all had to learn or not learn on our own. They had no concept or helping your children out in life, college was of no importance, actually most of us help them survive now. They never knew about nest eggs and rainy days. Some of us kids are good at it, some of us just survive. We all love our spouses to no end. We are always on their side, even if it is the wrong side, a generational family trait, I think one of our best qualities. We have had almost no divorces in any generations of our family, we were taught to work it out, and no therapy needed. I guess in a family this size just talking to the ones you are allies with is therapy.

I do not joke about the allies. In a family this big it is not possible to get along with all of them, or want to in many ways. Can you imagine having to deal with your sibling 11 times over and always be on the same page, not. My mother has her favorites and that is reality. The ones less favorite are general the ones she can't get something from, money, work, or things. My father is always the same, he learned along time ago he couldn't change my mother so he just lets her be, sometime it is easier to be confused with old age. Some people think he actually is, but I don't think so, I have seen him in there and the spark in his eye is ever the same. I do love all of my siblings, my children, my mother, and adore my father, but I don't actually like some of them, that is not an easily determined thing to say, I have tried to the detriment of my health to like them all but sometimes people are just not meant to be in your life. I take them as they come now, go to family events that I can, talk and share my life with the ones I can. I didn't choose my position, or family in this life, God did and I just try to do the best I can with what he gave me. ..... Tomorrow

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Gladys was my grandmother, she was a wonderful real woman.

I have said before that my Grandmother Thelma was killed in a terrible car wreck with my Grandfather, Martin, on their the my Greatgrandfathers funeral. It was devastating in our lives and probably changed the course of my childhood more than any other event, it was 46 years ago this week. My Grandmother, Gladys, took care of us kids when the funeral occurred I remember her taking care of us, we were just kids and turned the coffee table over and all the rocks that were in it tumbled across the floor, Martin had been a rock hound. The table was a beautiful display of his most cherished rocks. She took it in stride, cleaned it up and just loved us, she knew that our loss was more than we could understand. She was saying good bye to her friends by loving their and her grandchildren. Gladys by this time did not live close to us but she was there for us. I don't really remember being with her a lot as a child but do remember the time spent with her.

She seemed to always be there when we needed her. She was there when my brother had to have surgery for swallowing an electrical cover plug. She was there to bring her dyed pink poodle as a surprise to us on Easter Sunday. I got to spend the week once with her and I remember her spending the day spraying these horribly large tomato worms with a poisonous spray.  She came in to the house, was covered in the stuff, choking, she asked me to pull out her teeth so she could breath. She was a hard working loving, mother and grandmother. I don't ever remember her ever having said a cuss word, a woman very like my Father. She loved her children, but she also loved her daughter in law, my mother and felt the need to protect her, I am not saying they didn't have their differences, but if my mom needed some one on her side when it came to the family, even if my mom was wrong, she was on her side. I think maybe that was because my mom no longer had a mom, and she felt it her duty. She shaped a lot of my mothers thoughts on raising children but I am not sure my mom would see it that way. When I was 9 and 3/4, I don't know why the 3/4 was important, but at the time it was extremely important to me, she moved to Samoa. It was a long five years, and when she came back she was a sick a lot of the time. She lived with dignity and honor to the end.

I think she gave me some of my oldest philosophies. She knew I had to take care of the littler kids and some times it was hard. So she taught me that I should never have to hit someone to make them mind me, I should be able to do it with my voice and words. I can and do do that to this day. She knew that my mom liked little things, puppy, kids and babies. I was not a dainty little girls, I was not the biggest of my sister, in the end, but my Sister is a tiny minute, and my mom adored her girlie little girl. Sister probably helped my mom survive her mothers death, but it didn't make me the "tomboy" feel loved at the time. My grandmother helped me understand that I  have value for who I was and it was ok to be me. I now know I wasn't the "tomboy" my mom thought I was, no I wasn't the girlie girl, I was a well rounded girl, that enjoys the girlie stuff as much as the boy stuff. I only realized that in my later life, I am a homemaker to my core and the things I collect could only be called girlie. I think my grandmother still speaks to my lonely childhood soul sometimes.

My grandmother never meant a stranger, we once went to the laundry mat, all the aunts and in laws were doing laundry and we notice Grandma was gone, and then we saw her, she was out in the parking lot in a travelers camper having tea and in deep conversation. She may have been my earliest knowing of God. She was a woman of God in everything she did. She was once sadly recalling a story of when she was a child, she sad they called me "happy bottom" and I could not understand why that would have hurt her as a child. I being a child didn't realize they had not actually called to "happy bottom" when they teased her about  her name...... When she left to Samoa, she was an old woman, bun in her hair, dresses that were well below her knees, she was all of 50, when she came back from Samoa, she had a cute short hair cut and wore Samoan fabric the rest of her life, she looked so young, Samoa had helped her become a free spirit in many ways. She was a better person, for having gotten to go do missionary work for the islanders. God had blessed her.... today I remember the lovely lady she was.... tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Yogie has had a hard beginning but is a strong little trooper now.

Yogie was 8 months and one week old when Goofy and Matt, had their last fight as a couple. We had always watched her about 8 hours a day as they both worked so she was in our home daily all her life. Goofy would bring her in and say, 'I can't get her to quiet' and hand her to me, I would sing my Nannie song to her and she would snuggle down and go to sleep. We always had a strong bond. Shortly after they came to live with us Goofy and Yogie had to go to shelter in Zoo town, about 50 miles aways and were gone about two weeks. It was so hard to have them gone, we were so glad when they got to come home. When they returned Yogie was not the same.

She had always been a happy baby when we had her, but when she returned home she was now terrified of the vacuum, she would wake up at between 2 and 4 in the morning in a terror that took me hours to console her to get her to sleep. I called them her night terrors. I couldn't understand what was going on with her. The night terrors occurring would have been around the time that Matt would have come home from work, and I suspected that the fighting had become a pattern in their home, so it seemed reasonable that she would have some patterning of the events. I couldn't figure out why the vacuum was such a terror to her, and we never did, but I have a suspicion of what it could have been.

Goofy and Yogie moved in a girlfriend of Goofy's for about 4 months but returned to our house when Booboo was born. Goofy never bonded on any level with Booboo, she had wanted a boy and couldn't really hide her disappointment in Booboo. I was Booboo's momma in all ways that counted from the moment she was born, I didn't get to be her momma in name until she on her own started calling me momma. Yogie was always my concern as she was bonded with Goofy but Goofy treated her like a dolly. She took her down, once in awhile, to dress her up and show her off. She tried using her to catch men but we stopped her as soon as we became aware of it. Her terrors continued, and as Goofy was at work or gone, she was always my child to help when they came on. They would come and go for the next few years, they would seem to lessen then come back from nowhere. We worked on her issues with the vacuum as well. I bought her a toy vacuum that she finally warmed up to then a miniature adult one, she became a friend with her vacuums, and still is, but it was a lot of work.

By the time Yogie was 20 months and Booboo was nine months Goofy was really into the depths of her addiction to men and gambling with her friend. She wanted to take the girls 200 miles away to her girlfriends home for the weekend. We didn't want them to go but had no right to stop her. It was the hardest weekend of our lives. When they returned the girls were so glad to be home and we had a talk with Goofy, and put our foot down, she gave us guardianship and the girls never went with her again. Yogie was really escalated after the trip, she had daily terrors. Once Goofy had signed them over she really dropped out of their lives, and visited our home less and less. A pattern that continued as time went on until we eventually got to adopt them.  By the time the adoption had come around the terrors were almost all but gone, maybe one ever couple of months. Shortly after the adoption the terrors came back with a vengeance, I didn't know why but got to watching Yogie during the day. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary until one day when Goofy was visiting she took Yogie off alone, something she had sort of always done, but this day it seemed to be odd to me. Yogie kept looking at me oddly, she was 5 by this time. Later that night Yogie, had a big terror, she seemed to know it was going to come on as just before she went to bed she came in and snuggled, a long time, with me in bed and actually fell asleep in my arms. Booboo always snuggled but Yogie only snuggles on her terms. She just seemed to need more cuddles, and yes, later she had a terror. I had finally put two and two together. I ask Mokie and Daughter if they knew what Goofy would say to Yogie, when she took her aside. They both weren't sure, but both felt, she would say to Yogie that she was her real mom and Nannie was just a fake mom. The only thing was Goofy didn't want to be a real mom so that left Yogie and I in a hard place. Shortly after this, 3 months, I had to call CPS, as I have said before. Once Goofy was totally out of the girls lives, the terror stopped over night. Not one since then. She did go through a short time of melt downs, and does seem to cycle into melt downs once in a while but she is much better now. Her biological dad is by-polar, and it runs in his family, so will have to watch her; but for now she is better.

The only thing I can determine from the experience and lots of studying on terrors, is that she may have had some form of PTS, I think that the time of the fighting may have started it but with time that seemed to lesson, but then Goofy started whispering things to her, that set her off again, all I know is that she didn't need the trauma and it was alot of hard work to help her get to the normal, happy, loving little soul she is now. ......She deserves her peace, she didn't cause the trouble between her biological parents she was just collateral damage..... she is happy now...  tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Homeschooling should have been a no brainer for our lifestyle, but was not.

As, I have said, I come from a family where I am the oldest of 12 children, 8 of which I was raised with, sort of. My parents actually raised or are raising three families. The oldest 5 of us, stair steps. The three little girls, born 10, 12 and 14 years after I was. Now they are raising the triplets. Three really separate families all in one family. I am now raising my second family. My Grandfather, Jim, Glady's husband, my fathers father, once said of my Grandmother and Mother, they got a second helping of mothering. Maybe some of their daughters and granddaughters inherited it, I think maybe I did. Three of my mothers daughters have adopted children and have had foster children. I have a huge extended family with diverse ethnicity, christian lifestyles, that runs the gambit from ultra conservative to ultra liberal, sort of a micro melting pot that mirrors the American melting pot as a whole.

Homeschooling is something, my Mennonite Aunt did with her children and grandchildren. My sister in law, home schooled her children, to high school age. My friend, Twin, home schooled her children for a couple of years in grade school. Belle, home schools her children, so in the end I had alot of examples of people who had home schooled, successfully, as examples when I need to make the decision for my girls. I truly weighed all the issues for a long time, I have an acquaintance that really pushed me hard to home school my children in the end I chose not to.

I chose not to because I live in very tiny community that has limited outside resources. We have no real town in our county. In saying we have no real town I am not saying we aren't a wonderful community but you can't buy clothes here, you can't go out here unless it's to dinner, no movie theater, no bowling allies, no skate parks, no youth centers, no anything that isn't a self motivating activity. We have hiking, swimming, hunting, biking, but very few organizational ways to develop a child's mind. So if your child is not in school it is hard to socialize them, I am a firm believer that if you choose to live in a town, become part of it, or maybe you should live somewhere else in the first place. Having watched so many people home school, one of the things the children in most cases lacked was normal socialization. I know if you are going for a closed religious lifestyle, like my Aunt, it is an ideal lifestyle for you, but I want my girls to be empowered rounded healthy Woman, I want them to grow and have the ability to navigate this world, not a world of my making, but the real world that they live in and will be expected to live in. I want them to make life time relationships that will sustain them in this life and when I am gone. I could not in, good faith, in the end home school them. I don't believe God put us in the world to live in isolation, I believe that God's purpose is to live in this world and still try to live by his word. I believe that is the example, of Jesus's coming to earth, was for us, he lived in this world with all its shortcomings and evil, and still lived a good, humble and exemplary life. I just wanted my girls to have the best base for that, in the place, we chose to raise them in.

I think in the end I wanted to raise my girls, give them the tools to become adults, and let them be the adults I raised. As adults I should never have to shadow them as an outside chaperon, to make sure they are holding to the lifestyle they were raised in. They should have the fortitude to take the lessons and lifestyle they were raised into and make the choices for their lives. I can't live their lives or fix my life, by making theirs what I want it to be, just give them the tools to be the best them they can be. ..... Tomorrow.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Poppie took care of the family all weekend.

I am truly rarely sick, my foster son, once said I was the battery that kept this family going, in a term paper. I never thought of it that way but as he was and is a car person it was an apt analogy. Tony is good a being sick he has been in and out of hospitals alot in the last 10 years, he takes to it easily and sort of knows I will take care of him. But normally he isn't aware of me being sick or doesn't know how to help when I am. His new change is personality from his accident seems to have helped him be more forceful. He really took charge and made me go to bed, and the most important part stay there. He made it so that I could stay there. He did house work, cooked meals and entertained the kids. I haven't stayed in bed so much since I had my bout of depression in my 30's. It is and was nice to be able to just be sick, rest and relax. I am hoping to be out of bed part of the day today and up more tomorrow.

The girls did there best to entertain me as well, they read their books to me, brushed my hair and generally were pretty good. I did have to help them bath their lamb and their baby goat as it had to be done, but Poppie wouldn't help them, I did allow it to happen in my bathroom much to Poppie's objection. I did have to clean out the bath tub, but for the most part got to have a sick hibernating weekend. Mokie invited them to stay the night Saturday night, so totally quiet night. We actually watched a movie something we rarely get to do. Very nice to have the quiet time together even if I was sick.

I did have to go help Mokie and Poppie milk, my Cleo, we didn't milk her last year as she was a young doe and her udder wasn't as developed. This year we have to, we weren't looking forward to it, that is why Poppie allowed me to help. She did much better than we thought, she is a strong goat and she does kick so thought she would hurt Mokie, but surprisingly she did well and it only took about 15 minutes, including putting her in the stanchion. Boer goats unlike dairy goats don't always have to be milked, Rosie is our biggest girl and we won't be milking her. I did get a possible buyer for one of my buckings on  Craiglist. We will see how it turns out. I made the offer for the bucklings as they are good quality for some one who may be looking for a  new buck in the herd. If I don't get a buyer soon, I will neuter and make them into withers for eating when they are mature.

So one more day of good rest left, I hope, then back to the real world....... tomorrow.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Faith is such a small word, only 5 little letters, but is so much of who we are in this life.

I was raised a New Testament Christian. My grandfather had been a sinner as a young man that had found God and became a devout Christian. He lived the rest of his life, up until shortly before the end, as  a strict single Religion Christian, if you didn't believe what his Church taught and live it like they taught, you were going to hell. Some of his children to this day are of the same mind. He, shortly before his death, joined another Church and began to praise the Lord differently. His most devout daughter still sorrows for him and thinks he went to hell. I don't think so. I have lots of christian family members and friends and almost none of them go to the same church, but I know in my heart that they, one and all, are saved Christians on their way to life in eternity with the Lord.

I for the most part was raised in my grandfathers Church, and it's roots are part of my very core, but as it has changed, I now know that is probably why he changed churches, as it no longer was his Church. I can no longer find the exact church I was born to and probably wouldn't be welcome as I don't believe God only listens to one church. I know that a relationship with God is not in a building or a church. I know that the Bible is the living breathing word from God, it speaks to us individually and always has new truth and wisdom for us each time we seek God in our reading. I know that God made no two of anything on this earth. He didn't make one single thing a duplicate so why would he have made one single experience or relationship with him the same. I do believe he gave us all an outline of similarity just like we are all human, but that is where it ends, the fine details of our life with God is ours and ours alone. We are all called to praise him, and to praise him in all things. We are all called to believe that God so loved us that he gave his only Son to die for our sins and if we believe that we shall not die but have everlasting life. I know you can not earn everlasting life it is a gift from God.  I  have heard if you boil the Bible down to one sentence it is, "there is no such thing as a free lunch." I don't believe that I believe the other. That we praise God, belief in Jesus, ask for his forgiveness and receive everlasting life as his gift to us.

I have never believed in once saved always saved but have friends who do. I have contemplated it greatly and think that the only way, it is once saved always saved, would be that only God knows, in his all knowing of your true time of saving. So maybe it is possible, that people who profess to be saved and fall into evil ways were never saved? uhm... I don't believe in predestination, I do believe that God knows the moment of our death and nothing we do changes it, we have free choice to praise him or not until we die.

Booboo asked me about faith this week, I tried to explain to her. " it is something we can't not see, hear, smell or feel but that it is the knowing that something is, just because, we know it is. There is a God, is all about faith, yes, if you believe you see, feel, hear and smell him but not in a tangible way you can really take a picture of, it is the knowing in your heart that it is so." She said, "oh, like when our soul goes to heaven when we die!" I said, "that would be it." She may always amaze me in her knowing or understand of things far beyond her years I don't know but can't wait to enjoy the trip with her. ........ tomorrow.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Homesteading life, a concept that is romantic in thought, harder to commit to.

I was raised as a bit of a wanderer. My family moved 42 times before I was married. That tends to make one of two kinds of people, wanderers or stick in the muds. I am a stick in the mud. It also makes for people who have difficulty making lasting relationships. We moved so often that making new relationships came easy but making continuous long lasting relationships is much harder and doesn't come easy to me. When I was a child I once said to me mom, "you don't have any friends, when I am grown I am going to have lots of friends." In the end I don't, I don't know if it is that I don't know how, or don't have time to make the long term connections. I have had a few dear friends in my life and cherish them. I am completely devastated when they end or fall off. I have good family relationships with most of my seven sisters, and maybe that is why I don't have alot of outside friends. I had more female relationships than most to begin with. I do know that there are lots of times when I long for a close girlfriend relationship. Mokie is my newest close friend and maybe that is God's will, I don't know.

I am the kind of person that if I like something I will always like it. I don't feel the need to throw out something in my home to bring in the next fad decorating item. I didn't compile my life's philosophies with out lots of thought and contemplation. I don't do things with out alot of forethought. I do sometimes appear to fly by the seat of my pants, but if it doesn't fit into my overall philosophy it is not something I will jump into even when pressed to do so. When my older children were small I was very young and only glimpsed at the person I would become. I decided to try and make good changes in their eating habits. I decided we would no longer eat white bread in our home. My children were not in compliance at all. It took between one month and three for Poppie and the three of them to come on line with me. One year later they were horrified at the prospect of eating white bread, so I knew that the concept worked. I tried to make other changes but tried to do it, by the do as I say and not as I do theory.  So when I say I got a second chance to raise my girls differently it is not that I didn't do a good job with the older ones, it that I did the best I could with the knowledge that I had at the time. So know as a mother of a 30 year old and a new mother I have lots of live changes I want to make.

Number one; live the life you want to pass on. I hear alot of people in this society, as a whole, that want to life a more homestead style life. Well like anything else it is a lifestyle and not just a theory. I wanted to live more that style of life with my family, as much as a person can on one acre of ground; and belief me I do more with one acre than lots of people do with a whole lot more. I began, with the thought process of,  it takes 12 times on a plate for a child to recognise some foods as normal and part of their diet. I began by putting the food I wanted them to eat on the plate. They didn't always like it the first time but the more it was there the more it was just part of the meal and eventually they ate it and didn't always even realize it. It was just part of our lifestyle. I developed that idea into a way of life for us. We don't drink pop at our house, they can order at the restaurant but after 3 or so months they didn't even want it when they ordered it and just stopped ordering it. We changed from the brown bread to homemade breads where we control what's in the bread. We grind our own burger. We then started growing our own, pork, chicken, goat, and eggs. We grow our on garden, about a 1/5 of an acre. We made baby steps in most respects but we practice what we preach. I don't abide excuses for why something, we know is not good for us, should be an everyday food. We do have foods that are special occasion foods, like a rootbeer float once in awhile, but even if the rootbeer is in the house they don't want it as a drink on it's own. I never disallowed any one food, say like sugar, if you take something away completely it becomes a craving. I have done enough dieting, and have read every diet book that came down the pike, enough to know deprivation is a bad pit fall. I do not allow sugar on cereal and when my girls see some one do that they just about get sick at the sight. Both of them, of their own volition take a bite of two of frosting on a cake and then cut it off and eat the cake. No sugar would have meant they craved it, low sugar means they choose not to have it. I am all about choice once you have learned to live in the style the family chooses.

I think one of the things I have a problem with is, people who say, "I tried that with my family they wouldn't get on board', you either didn't really want the lifestyle in the first place or you didn't stay with it tell it clicked. It is about the same as saying; my three year old eats a whole pizza for breakfast and I just don't understand why he weighs a 100lbs. Yes, you do know why, you could make the change, you like the pop, the white bread and didn't really want to make the change yourself, you thought it would be a good idea, but wanted to live a, do as I say and not as I do, lifestyle. I have been there.  Homesteading or back to basics is not for everybody but the effort to getting to the lifestyle is worth the work and effort. Not for the weak of spirit, so when your child says, Mom, 'I am allergic to peas'.  You say "Mokie, you are not allergic to peas, you just don't like them, yet" ....... tomorrow.

Friday, March 18, 2011

St Patty's babies, Human and Boer.

I ended up spending most of the afternoon, not in bed, where I needed to be but in the goat barn helping deliver two little bucklings. The are both classic Boer and are too cute for words. Momma did well just needed a little help. All her sister does checked the babies soon after they were born. Cleo looked at Rosie, looked at her babies in a way that seemed to say, very nice, good job. Rosie allowed her to look and then Cleo left. Last night as Poppie checked on them before bed, the two does lay near each other with the little ones all sort of in one pile. My two dominant does allow each other special privileges, that my lesser does are not allowed have. I haven't decided if I will sell them or keep them for meat, probably meat so tentatively they are Radish and Rutabaga.

I got a new great niece at almost the exact same time. She has the same name as my oldest granddaughter. My Sister and I will share our oldest granddaughter, at least in name. Mother and baby are both doing well, I am told. She does have a nice Irish name as is fitting for coming into the world on St. Patrick's day.

Belle, came to get the 4 piglets they had purchased from us in the early afternoon, before the babies started to come. We had them located in the dog carrier to make it easier for them to take home. She brought me lovely Castor oil and eucalyptus ointment she had made for my chest. It is a wonderful help to my congested chest. Later in the afternoon, Belle's husband stopped by to get  his vehicle that Poppie and Bug had fixed. I asked him how the piglets were doing and he looked at me in surprise and said, "Belle, didn't call you?" I said, "No, is there something wrong?" It seems their fence was larger wire than mine and the sneaky little babies got out. I was so worried for them. I called Mokie after, Belle's husband left and she and Son went out to help look for them. Poppie went as well.

After several hours Poppie returned home, when he had gotten there, Son had helped them catch the piglets, three were fine. I guess when they had gotten out Belle's guardian dog, who's job it is to guard her animals didn't know what they were and caught and killed the largest red and white one. Belle was devastated, as were her children, I am not sure if they witnessed it or not, but they were so looking forward to playing with the little guys. We unfortunately don't have any more for her. I was so sorry for their loss. Her children like mine are prepared for the planned deaths it is the unexpected ones that hurt the most. So I am off to bed, just had to do my daily update..... tomorrow.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Baby watch, again, snow on St. Patty's Day, under the weather literally and Physically.

Woke up with a touch of the flu, sore throat, cough and achy but my Rosie has most likely decided that St. Patty's is a good day to have her babies. She is a real trooper and needs no help just a watchful eye so hopefully I won't get any sicker helping her today. We woke up to a heavy snow falling, that left about an inch on the ground. I can't wait for the spring to really come and get over all the teasing of it's coming. 50 degrees one day and snow the next, I think God had a sense of humor and likes to keep us on our toes. We are hoping for more little doelings but will take what we get. The girls are thinking on names that begin with R as we name the babies with the momma's first initial to keep genealogies straight. Clover is growing like a weed as Cleo is a great momma, Mokie hasn't named her doe yet, but as she doesn't name hers the way we do is leaning toward Lucky, as in lucky to be alive, after her breach birth.

I think the first of our piglets will be going to their new homes today. We shall see if they pick them up today or not. It will be nice when they are all gone and we have just ours left to take care of, especially with the baby goaties come now. Mokie told me the Belle is considering taking a break from her goats for awhile. She suffers from poor health issues so may need to take some time to herself for her health and return to goat raising at a different time. I hope the prospects of not having her goats will not weigh to heavy on her, in the end the addiction to goats may out weigh her discussion and she will keep them, we will see. She has had 7 baby goats this spring, 4 bucklings and 3 doelings.

As I don't want to ramble, from not being up to par, just a short update today. Have a great Saint Patty's day. enjoy your day, remember we are all Irish on this day, we are any way but love the company today..... tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Goofy, my oldest child, child of my heart and my biggest frustration

I have said before the the moment Goofy was born she was my end all be all. I know that God in his wisdom allows us the total love of our children when he gives them to us. He also allows them the freedom to grow from needing us for everything to becoming strong functioning adults that eventually will no longer need us. Need does not define love and should not be confused with it.  I will categorically say now that I love my daughter but currently have not relationship with her, which saddens me to no end and makes me have times of wondering what I did wrong. I understand a great deal of the time that she is an adult and has made her own choices, a great deal of which were so wrong, and that I can not take the blame for them but that doesn't take away my times of self failure.

Goofy is a study in contrasts, I see her with the love of a mother and many times give her the benefit of the doubt and ennoblement. I also see her from the eyes of reality and there in lies the rub. She was molested as a child, around 11, and she began to tell lies, she was and is very good about it. I can tell when all of my other children are lying to me, with her it is just an educated guess at best. She started dating a younger boy when she was around sixteen, he eventually hit her alot, I don't know if it was all his nature or if she knows how to push her partners into it, in her need to be the victim. The young boys mother, who has a different philosophy in life than we in our family do, found out Goofy was pregnant by her son and a blackmailed Goofy into letting her take her to get an abortion. I didn't not know or find out for a long time after it happened so was unable to help her.  I believe the patterning of these two events helped to create a need to be a victim, much like a hypochondriac has to have been truly sick to crave the need to be sick again for the attention.

Goofy continued in the relationship for another couple of years until the boy finally dumped her and moved. She immediately went into another relationship and they were married in less that 3 months. They were both adults and took no advice from other.  They had a stormy sometimes controlling and abusivee relationship. She left him when he threatened to hit her by raising his fist to hit her, she came home, he spent the night on the phone calling and threatening her and the family to try and get her to return. He finished by cocking a gun on the phone and threatening to kill himself. He did try later that night to kill himself with pills. The police found him and admitted him to the phych ward. My sister, Drama Queen, sided with him in all of these events. She helped him over turn the order of protection we got against him. She housed him when he came home, and as she lived two door away from us allowed him the ability to stalk us. Goofy finally got her divorce and custody of both the girls.

Over the course of the next year she got a new girl friend that help her meet men, lots of them, and gamble, and become addicted to it. She now needed lots of help but was unwilling to get any. Poppie and I finally stepped in and she gave us guardianship of the girls and eventually adoption. Goofy became pregnant again but the dad of the baby, had been in a car accident, in which, he was driving under the influence and a girl passenger died. He was sentenced to supervised prerelease and probation. They struggled to continue with a relationship but in the end before the baby was born she had new boyfriend. The new boyfriend was nice enough but a drug addict. We had long since stopped allowing Goofy to have her boyfriends around our girls. She got custody of the baby, Song, she got rid of the boyfriend eventually and got a new one. She for some reason desperately wanted a boy baby and it was not to be. She and her new boyfriend were actively trying to get pregnant to have a boy. Her new boyfriend was the worst of the lot, lied like he was breathing, had other children that the state had taken away. Shortly after Goofy was pregnant he got another girlfriend and they were pregnant as well. Buga, a girl, was born and Goofy was dating a new boy, this one was a boy, he lied to me on the phone to help her hide from taking care of Buga and Song. Song spend most of her time with Mokie and Son.  Buga spent her time with Bug and Daughter. Goofy never was home, in her trailer on our property but not living in our home. The trailer became unlivable and she was going to move into a known drug house. We at this point were used to it and couldn't change her decision, then she decided she was taking Buga and Song. I could no longer stand by and not protect the two little ones. We had given  her a second chance when we had adopt the two older girls but she had thrown the chance away and had spiraled down hill. I had to call Child Protective Services to keep the girls safe. The short of it, Song, got to live with her dad. Buga got to live with Bug and Daughter. Mokie and Son were devastated by the loss of Song. Buga's adopt will be final this May.

My sister, Drama Queen, did everything in her power to get Buga taken away from us and placed with her, the Social Worker, eventually saw through her deceptive games and she was not considered for Buga's placement. I know you wonder why they didn't place her with Poppie, the girl and me. It just wasn't where she belonged, Goofy had allowed her to be with Bug, Daughter and their two kids, she was bonded with their family not ours. She was our granddaughter, not our daughter. Goofy left during the process, 2 years ago, getting on with her life and no longer caring what happened to the girls, leaving us to deal with CPS and the courts. She and her new boyfriend, married and have a little boy, Riley. They live in Georgia and her husband is in the service, has served in Iraq and Afghanistan.

He emailed me last October and told me all of Goofy's problems were caused by me and he threatened me, enough that I could get an order of protection. I emailed him back that we no longer wanted them to contact us in any manner and if they came on our property we would have them arrested. They did visit in Christmas in town, did not come here but did stop at Bug's house. That totally finished the relationships between Mokie and Bug with Goofy. She is now pregnant again. We are at an impasse, She does know she could just call me and I would work it out with her. Her husband at this point not so much. I hope this was not boring but to understand the family dynamics I had to try to explain...... as I have said before I do have a second chance, I actually did raise good older kids but will try again....... Tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

New neighbor, final tasks to a life and sorrow at the tsunami.

I began my day yesterday finishing the last duties to my lost Nanny. She looked so peaceful where she lay in death. Her little one at her side. I had Poppie help lift her into the wheelbarrow so I could roll her to her grave. I lay her baby in first and placed her at his side. I shoveled dirt and gravel over her and covered her body; Poppie, finished the work with his tractor, as I worked I placed her in God's hands. She had been there all along, I had only had the borrowing of her. I then went over to the goat room, where she had been when she died,  shoveld all of the old straw and leavings of her passing in the wheelbarrow and rolled it back to the grave sight. I cover it with the straw that would compost over her grave to protect it from any animal that might try to dig it up. My duty to my girl was now complete. She was a good goat and had given her all to this life. I think that made her a worthy animal, not all animals get to give there all in this life.

I went into the house and tried to resume my routines. I painted on an order of buttons, and carved on eagle pendants, both pieces of an order for boy scouts in Ohio. I was just completing the painting, when Mokie brought our new neighbor over to meet us. She, her husband and kids had purchased my parents old place, it had been on the market for over 4 years, two while my parents had lived there and two since they had moved. The house had originally appraised at 250 thousand, but due to economy, foreclosure and the fact that there is a trailer house frame in the middle of it, it sold for 59 thousand. They got a great deal and love the place. That is a good thing, as so many of us still live around the propery, and will love seeing people, that will love it, have it. They seem like they will be good neighbors, who want pigs, goat and have dogs, a plus since all of us in the neighborhood  have animals and they will add to the neighborhood and not want to change it.  We took them to meet all the animals. The new babies, ours Yogie named, Clover, Mokie and Son have not decided on what they will call theirs. She and her children loved all the animals. A good beginning.

Last evening, we could not tear ourselves away from the events of the last few days in Japan. We try to live a private life, but are totally concious of the outside world. The pictures of what these people are induring and experiencing are so heartwrenching. They so bring back the memories of Thailand and 9/11. It is so sobering to witness it from afar and I can not even, remotely, imagine how horrible it would be to go through. My prayers, and hopes go out to all of the people caught in the middle of this devistation. I so pray that the nuclear disastor is abated, and the people are safe from it, I pray the most for the 50, who like the ems works at 9/11, who have choosen to step forward for the lives of others and stay at the reactor, are safe and God's will they don't have give up their lives to become the heros they already are. .... tomorrow.

Monday, March 14, 2011

No rainforest, but our cycle of life and death played out on Sunday...........

Our plans of walking in the rain forest on a restful warm Sunday afternoon all went awry. I checked on Dahliala first thing in the morning. She quietly passed on. She deserved her piece and rest, her life had come to its fruition. She left as quietly as she lived her life. We fed the animals. We will bury her this morning, in our little goat graveyard. We all went out in the late morning, to watch Cubbie, Boy and girls play with Lambchops and Dessert run and play with the kids. Son was working on his goat barn, he was very precisely measuring and leveling it. Mokie kept picking up Dessert to cuddle him. He is just totally fun to watch. Lampchops is still recovering from his joint illness but loving the outdoors. All is as it should be a slow nice Sunday.

Mokie mentioned to me that her little pregnant female doxie had been a little sick for a couple of days, sort of vomiting maybe a form of morning sickness.  I decided to go check on Cleo as she had acted funny at feeding time. I was glad I did, she was in early stage labor. So for the next couple hours I continued to check her. Mokie went home and found her little doxie had discharged blood from her bum, and was in the end stage of parvo. I hate that it is such a destructive disease. The little dog, had her shots, was not the right age to get it but her pregnancy must have helped to harbor the disease and accelerate it. Mokie wrapped her up and made her comfortable, she did not last the afternoon. Mokie was sobbing with her heartbreak. She so loves little dogs and her little Olive was her pride and joy.

I got Cleo into the birthing barn, Poppie, calls it the goat hospital. She was restless and wondered out so I monitored her. I saw that she was getting close so put her back into the barn and made her stay. It was nearly time, Daughter and Bug showed up. Daughter came to the barn with me to help. It amazed me that she wanted to be there. Mokie joined us there. Yogie and Buga were there as well. Cleo seemed to be making progress but before long it became apparent something wasn't quite right. Mokie called Son, we are both good a pulling babies, but if it is complicated we both defer to Son. Son came and watch a few minutes then went in to pull the baby. The babies legs started to come, but he could not find the head. He checked again and it was the bottom of the baby. She was pulled out breach, she was not moving, Son roughed her a little and she cried out. We were so glad, she was our first little doe this season and Mokies, as she had been waiting for a little Boer to get to add to her herd. Her sister joined her with in seconds, so she had two to choose from. One a classic little Boer and the other a little oddly marked sweetie. Mokie loved the odd marked one, the one that had come breach. Her sorrow for her little Olive not gone, but hope in the future, renewed in her little doe. Buga, 3, had been present, as was Yogie, Yogie took it in stride. Buga couldn't wait to tell everyone that goats have babies by blowing bubbles out their bottoms, she did just that, eveyone now knows the truth of goats birth. I guess that is what happened in the eyes of a three year old.

Son, Mokie and I, after the week with Dahliala, couldn't leave until the placenta came, it took almost two hours but it was worth the wait to make sure our Cleo was safe. We did get to enjoy all the newborn antics of the two little does as well. A very rewarding and renewing time.  Yogie got the other kids to come see the new babies. All got to see the little ones. The after birth finally came and our vigil was done. New babies, does, and a safe and healthy momma. Two more mommas due this week, two later in the season and our spring birthings will be complete. Death comes to us all in the end, and birth is inevitable both a joy and a sorrow in different situations. We had a complete day with hope for the future. ..... tomorrow.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Rain Forest, chicken coops, chores and kids.

Spent the day monitoring Dehliala, she is seemingly in a holding pattern, I hope we know something good or bad today. She did let us drench her for hydration and took some kefir. Kefir and yogurt are both good health sustainers for a goats ruminant. Goats are one of a class of animals called ruminants. They actually have five stomachs and chew a cud. The basically eat there food regurgitate it and send it to the next stomach. The babies when they drink milk they need to have their heads up high and their little necks at a straight up angle so the milk actually bypasses the first stomach, as it doesn't digest milk well. Their ruminates, the name of one of their stomachs have to be sort of trained to work, it has to sort of get started to begin to work correctly. Babies stomachs take several weeks of work to get going to where they can eat hay, grasses and other solids. If they have an upset the kefir or yogurt helps them get back on track as does roughages. She is at this point still holding her own. I pray for what is best for her, I don't know now if it is death or life.

The girls fought over who would clean the cupboards and who would clean the kitchen floor, and unlike, most kids it wasn't to get out of them it was to see who got to do the best one in their eyes. I wasn't aware there was a best of the two chores, but now know there is per the thorough processing explanation of why they wanted their choice. So different from my older girls at the same age. The older girls are both more tomboy and less outdoorsy if that makes sense. They don't truly enjoy the outdoor the way the little girls do but they are also not the girly girls my two little ones are. If you can imagine two dainty girls in white, still clean, gutting a chicken, cleaning a goat pen or stacking a load of fire wood you would have me little ones. Total oxymoron's but you gotta love em. They made their choices of what to clean while I helped Poppie clean the chicken coop. He shoveled and I pushed to wheel barrow to the compost pile. The chicken coop had used straw and chicken dropping. so will make great compost for my garden in the shortest time. The goat droppings are good right away, as well, but the urine and hay have to be composted long term, so go in a different pile. Chores done we could now play for awhile.

We walked to the rain forest, the first time this year. Booboo rain ahead and back, she had so much energy she couldn't stand still.  Yogie walked with me hand in hand. It was so different than the first walk we took. That trip they both held my hand and we walked at the pace of a 2 1/2 and 3 1/2 year old. Booboo got tired and in the end I carried her. She did want to go the next time but the flowers we were to collect were much more of a draw than the actual walking. She got her backpack full of buttercups, her little feet dragging but she carried them all home on her own steam. Yogie's backpack had been just as full but ran ahead to be the first to show her dad, Poppie, all her collected treasures. We didn't find a single buttercup this time, a little early, but we had a wonderful time and made plans for today, Booboo is sure we need to go farther afield, 30 minuted is just not long enough for her. This old mom needs more time to get used to the walking first time out since fall. We will see how long I make it, unfortunately she can't carry me home the last little way as I once did her.

Once home we helped Poppie route the puddles from the thawing snow down the driveway. Cubbie, Boy, pysdeo grand kids, Gracie and Alex, helped but spent more time in the puddles splashing than routing water. Mokie was not impressed with their wet boots and pant legs. It was a nice day to be in the warm sunshine and see the beginnings of the spring to come. I hope to have a nice restful day today and enjoy the blessings that God has sent to us....... tomorrow.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Life and death on a little farm, is part of the cycle, some harder than others.

We gave Dahliala the shot, oxytocin is hard on the Nanny, it made her weak and in pain. She was not eating at this point and not drinking much, so was becoming dehydrated. She was still very worried about her babies. I had thought about taking them but they gave her so much comfort to be with them. We left her alone so the medicine could do what it was supposed to. We checked her every little bit, as our presence seemed to be harder on her than just letting her alone. During one of the checkings we found the littler baby, Dinner, smashed where she had apparently fallen on him. I at that point had to remove the other baby but left the little one for her. She seemed to take comfort from laying by him and putting her head on him, she didn't want to leave him. When we tried to walk her, thinking it would help her progress she fought to stay with him, I was surprised at the fight she had in her to stay with him, and the strength. We left her alone with him. She doesn't seem to be in real pain at this point, more just wore down and exhausted.

I went on line to check out more on how long the oxytocin, should take to work, I found that on line it should have been given to her, the first day, when I made my original call. The odds of it working grow less the longer you wait. The vet is admittedly not very experienced with goats, and gets alot of his information from a local Goat Herdress, another crazy goat lady, Son knows, so plan on taking a trip to meet her soon, unfortunately he is the most knowledgeable Vet in our area on goats. I at this point have come to terms with the fact that unless God intervenes we will lose her. She is heartbreakingly sad to see, laying with her had on the little ones body, I know they are not supposed to cry but I am sure I have seen her tears.

Dessert was hungry when we brought him in the house, his momma had stopped giving milk at this point and he had nursed her dry. He wasn't very fond of the bottle but it was his mamma's milk, I had milk out each day. He did come around to the bottle. When Yogie and Booboo came home I had to tell them the situation. They both were heartbroken, Booboo sobbed, I told her that since Yogie had Lambchops she would have the care of Dessert, she was consoled a little. She wrapped him up in a baby blanket and laid with him, he now has a new momma to love and follow around. We did diaper him as he is in the front room and bedroom with her. Booboo and Dessert fell asleep both all done from the days events.

I know that life on a little farm is hard, part of the cycle is birth and dying, My little girls understand that and are prepared for the death of an animal bred to be meat, we love them, enjoy them  and care for them through the process. They are not yet old enough to understand the passing of an animal that is not expected. I know as an adult that birth is a process that includes death sometime but it doesn't make it any easier to go through. I know this experience, like any other, helps them grow but it is no less sad or heartbreaking.... today we will see if momma survives, I do know at this point it is in Gods hands...... tomorrow.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Working day at our little farm.

I had an evenful week, this week, one of our does gave birth to two lovey little twins, they are in the header photo of my blog. They were just two cute to resist. They are both little bucklings, the beautiful girl with them is my Yogie. The other childeren were all present for photos but that one seemed to fit the bill the best for just a nice generic photo of kids and kids. The momma goat had decided the have those two lovely just as we were leaving to go to the orthodontist for Yogie. We had a sixty mile drive and had to leave. She had had the babies and just had the placenta to deliver. Well we don't know just why but she had not delivered it by evening when we returned. Over night she didn't deliver so, I  had checked on line and it was time to call the Vet. He didn't seemed worried at all really and told us to call back the next day and return to Zoo town to get the shot. I made arrangements with a couple of my dear friends to pick it up. Lady, said she could do it if the Vet could leave it in a mailbox or something as she had her late night, her weekly day to visit her dear granddaughter. I had already made seperate arrangements with my other friend, Going, she is always going somewhere so it seems to fit, she would be glad to do it before she went to her night classes. The only problem turned out to be that the Vet didn't call back until 8 in the evning, though we called him several times. I missed both the connecttions. The Vet called yesterday, so one of my nieces, Fishbait, said she could do it, Fishbait is my nephews name for her not mine, I think I would call her Red, So Red, picked up the shot and took it to her home, halfway here. Mokie, Son, Boy and Cubbie went and got the shot. Since it was late in the evning, when we got it we will do it this morning,

The only problem at this point, is that she may have delivered the placenta at night and eaten it so, we really don't know. We have been giving her penicillin shots, milking her out and making sure the babie nurse, all, should have helped her deliver it. She could have eaten it at this point, she did eat the other birthing items, she wouldn't let us take them away. I know that if it is still there she will get sick and if not I hope the shot won't hurt her, at this point all we can do is give it to her and wait. So, with all this going on Lambchops developed a limp on tuesday, I thought one of the kids had hurt him, as Cubbie had knocked the gate on him, but that didn't seem to be the answer, yes, I went to the internet. Well he had joint illness, the belly button cord had not beem properly disinvected when he was born and he had gotten joint illness. We gave him penicillin and he is doing better, thanks goodness no vet needed. He is getting much better, may only need one more shot. He is just about back to his oldself, if a week old soul can have an oldself.  Don't really know.

So wish us luck and have a good day, I will start with the goat, do some carving, shipping and get ready to go to the wrestling match tomorrow for Eldest..... so is the life of this Nannie..... tomorrow.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Grandma's, siblings and Nannies.

I have said before that I am the oldest of 12 children, this is true and I think that it is alot of the reason, I have determined, that I don't really know how to play. My mother was one of two children, she had one brother that was two years her junior. She may have wanted a sister, as a small child, I don't really know but as a teenager when a family moved in next door to her with 8 children she was in awe and wonder. She wanted that in her life. The family that moved in next door was my fathers family, he didn't still live a home but she meant him and things progressed to them being married and having children. They have now been married nearly 52 years.

I was the oldest child and my mother had had no experience with babies of any kind. My father taught her all she needed to know about babies, both my grandmothers help her out. My mother had given birth to 5 children by the time I was three and a half. One pregnancy had been a set of twin and one of the babies did not make it. She was, and is, an attentive mother but no one has time to do everything and when you have a house full of babies in diapers, the oldest one quickly get put to work at helping. My roll in my family has always been the same, helping to raise children. I didn't really learn to play as a child, oh, I had fun and played; but it was a secondary concept that still doesn't come to the forefront of my life often and I am not comfortable in that role. I can recall sitting on my grandmothers lap, with my two brothers, while my mother was at the hospital to have my sister, to this day she is my sister, I  have other sister but they are all a great deal younger, 10, 12, 14 and 41 years younger. My grandmother said, "where are we going to put another one" we all laughed as her lap really was all filled up with the three of us. My grandmother, Thelma, only lived another year almost to the day. She and my grandfather were killed in a car wreck, en route to my great grandfather's funeral. I can still remember her waving to us as we left her house the last time, we had gone to see her as I had thrown a fit to say goodbye to her before she left. I, in hindsight, am so glad I did as these are the only two memories I have of her.

My mother didn't do well after her mothers death, it having actually come very close on the heels of the twins dying. I believe in many ways she is still that lost child of 24 and hasn't grown a day older. She was, what in hindsight seems clear, clinically depressed for years, and on some levels still is, she and my father don't believe is depression so would have not sot help if she had know. She really relied more and more on us older children through the years. Soon after my grandmothers death she could no longer conceive so my parents adopt two boys, two years apart. One the exact ethnicity's we are, German, English and Irish, to this day he is not the one people guess as adopted if they find out some of us are adopted. The second boy was Anglo and African American, we loved him dearly but in the end there were complications and he wanted to go live with my uncle that was Somaoan and "like" him. My aunt and uncle did adopt him from my parents when he was 5 years old. My mother at this time had been able to conceive again and we had a new sister who was three years old, followed by a sister two years younger that her, and again two years later. There were 8 of us living children and believe me a houseful. More of the house hold duties were mine and, at 16, I got a 25 hours a week job as I went to school, to help out. My dad made good money but their were alot of us.

My other grandmother, Gladys,  and grandfather had moved to Samoa when I was 9 and 3/4 years old, just before my second sister was born. We missed them dearly, they were gone, 5 years, and when they came back, my aunt that is 5 years older than me brought back a Samoan husband, the ones that adopted my brother. My grandmother soon found out she had ovarian cancer. She was one of the strongest woman I ever knew. She was given a terminal diagnoses and 6 months to live, she had raised 8 children and couldn't stand to leave them or her husband. She lived 5+ years, and the last one was pure hell on this earth, I think she needed grandpa to know she couldn't stay for him anymore. He let her go after 42 years of marriage. He was lost, and a year later an old family friend married him, as his companion, to love and take care of him. I no longer had a grandmother, as I became an adult, and missed both. I missed their love and wisdom, that in some ways due to their early losses my mother has never learned. Oh, I love my mother and she is a great lady but to those who know her closely she does lack the true adultness and wisdom of a woman of her years. She is still a lost little girl. The year she turned 59 she and my father, 64, adopted a set of newborn triplets. They are wonderful parents to the girls, but they are no longer really able to give the time to their grand children and great grand children they need. No one has that much time and we make choices that are right for ourselves in this life. I do miss my folks, as do my children, my parents are there for us but on a much different level.

When I found out I was to be a grandmother, my mother still lived next to us, so knew, it would be confusing to be grandma and grandma who lived next door to one another. I chose Nannie and love being Nannie, to my grand kids and a string of other children. My grandmother Gladys would be so proud, I know she looks down from heaven with pride, and I am sure Thelma looks over her shoulder, they were good friends, and beams a smile. ....... tomorrow is another day.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The woes of Hot Summer day, Sourdough and Cheese making.

I had renewed confidence, my spirit of you can do it back in tact, I set out to make cheese, some times daily, if we had milked our goats and our friends goats. We got to keep all the milk we milked so some days had as much as three to four gallons, which is the amount I would need to make a good batch of cheese. One morning on a hot sunny day, Yogie, Booboo and I mixed up a batch of sourdough sponge to start our weekly baking day, and since I would be doing that in the kitchen, I decided to make a batch of cheese, to sort of kill two birds with one stone, so to speak. I couldn't help in the garden or carve so this would be an efficient way to use our time.

I sterilized all the cheese equipment, a very important part of making cheese, and began the process. Things were rolling along fine, my sponge had risen and dropped, my cheese was in it's ball of curd in no time. I had time to walk in the rain forest with the girls before the next steps needed to be done. The rain forest is the name of the little grove of trees the girls and I walk in, there and back is approximately a mile walk from our house. They called it that because they have watch Dora since they were little and that is what she calls the forest she lives in. They are now old enough to know it isn't a rain forest, but to us it is a special place to share memories of our first walks, we started when Yogie was 3 1/2 and Booboo 2 1/2. They proved to be good walkers from a young age, we walked and collected flowers that we used to make decoupage gifts for Christmas. We called the flowers little rays of sunshine from God. I digress, as usual, so on with the task at hand.

We returned and mixed up the bread dough to rise. We cut the curd ball and to our amazement it had a bunch of perfectly round hole in it. We knew this wasn't right but didn't know why. Normal curd balls can have holes but they are odd shapes, the way the curd would naturally piece together. We decide to just go on with the cheese.  We dropped it in our heated whey and it wouldn't stretch right but finally got it to form into little balls. The balls also had little round holes in it. We went on line to try and find out what the problem was and we found that we had a contaminant. It could be something dirty, but we had carefully sterilized, or it could be a yeast contaminant. We realized in that moment, it probably wasn't a good idea to make cheese making day and bread making day the same day, especially on a nice warm day when yeast can bloom so well in a nice yeasty kitchen. We shared our cheese, as usual,  with Son, as he, Boy and Cubbie, they like to eat the balls from the jar together at night. Mokie doesn't like cheese and has chrone's so needs to be careful with her diet. We did explain why it had the little holes in it. We have since accidentally got the holes again but it is usually when my kitchen has had allot of yeast in it, so we try to coordinate the processes a little better but think we have it figured out for no future problems, but then the hot summer has not yet arrived again.

I have animals to feed, a lamb to lamb sit, a set of twin baby goats that momma is have a little medical issue with so have to help her feed one of them, though she is a wonderfully attentive momma, so you have a good day....... talk to you tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Adventures in Goat cheese making the beginning: Mozzarella

Having made the lemon quick cheese and kefir cheese I was ready to go full tilt into cheese making, with all the confidence and tenacity that I had been given to me by my father. He had always maintained you could do anything you set you mind and will to. I had always read and studied, and with the bliss of not knowing I might fail, went out and conquered the things I set my mind to. I still do, most of the time. I talked to my friend, Belle, and as our friendship was new at the time she didn't know I generally just stumble on and accidentally, usually, get it right. She told me the making mozzarella cheese could be very hard to get right as there is a certain ph you have to hit to make it stretch to it maxim potential. Oh no!  know my mind said, the books had said it was easy!  I didn't read that! so I was immediately apprehensive about making the cheese. I might not be able to do it. Not knowing is bliss thinking you can't is like have the wait of the world on your shoulders, a feeling I don't get often and it seemed to petrify me.

I asked Belle to show me how to make it, as I was now afraid to try on my own. Belle, invited Mokie and I out and we started the process. We added the kefir, and waited, then we added citric acid and the lipase, waited for it to have time to work. We then added the rennet and waited for it to coagulate. We got nice coagulation or set and cut it into nice curd. We let the curd rest and then put it into a cheese cloth and drained out the whey, we then hung our curd to form a curd ball and to finish draining out the last of the whey. We were read to wait for the ph to be right in the curd. I had purchased a ph meter and had tested in on vinegar to get a feel for how it worked. Belles, husband had purchased ph strips, so we thought we would get the ph right with all the tools we had assembled. Time ticked on, there is a method of making mozzarella in the microwave, which is very simple but the end result is not as good at the more traditional method we were using. We made the whey in to ricotta while we waited.

To make ricotta, you heat the whey until it is around 200 degrees, and then strain out the cheese through a cheese cloth, and you let it do it at it's own pace or you will dry it out if you hurry it. The whey that is left over from this I give to my pigs or I pour it on the pumpkin plants to feed them. We talked and waited a number of hours awaiting the magic moment of ph for the mozzarella. The time that we had had  ran out so we put the curd ball in the refrigerator with plans to finish the next day, and let the ph get to the right number.

The next day I arrived, without Mokie, as after the slow pace of cheese making she no longer had a desire to make cheese and still doesn't, though she has watched me making in a number of times. We thought we were close to the right ph so cut the curd ball, that had formed in the hanging cheesecloth. We had saved a small pan of the whey from the ricotta making to heat to 170 degrees to heat our sliced curd. We dropped  the cut curd slices into the water, at first they didn't stretch right but the more we worked it the more we got it to the right feel. Good mozzarella, I have since, learned will stretch just like good old fashion taffy at a taffy pull. We heated the mozzarella in to little ball called bocconcini. We finished them all up and brined them in salt. If you make the mozzarella in a big lump you add salt to the curd once it is drained but the balls can be brined to add the salt. They were wonderful. I ended up with two quarts, as Mokie does more of the milking and I do the making of the cheese we split our cheese evenly, the use of them or the sale of them.

I regained my fearlessness that day, after all it wasn't that hard to make and it was a lot of fun. I made a batch on my own about two days later and it was beautiful, pulled like taffy, didn't use the ph meter as it was not really designed to use on cheese and was estatic about making cheese...... My next batch, not so good, but that is a tale for tomorrow................. later.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Booboo's questions about our world.

I don't recall, though I was eight, when Martin Luther King Jr. died or even having hear of Robert Kennedy. I lived in a household that was pretty laid back in the 60's. We were just trying to make ends meet. My father a life long history buff, enjoyed it and read alot of historical non-fiction book. I develop a love of my the  political world by the time I was 12, I remember being a Nixonite in school, even when he fell and no one wanted to be associated with him. I was and am a Nixon Republican. I love history and excelled in it, I remember Max Backus walking across the state to get elected. I don't remember even one of my siblings having any interest in the world or politic outside of our home. I don't know that I was different from other kids, but that was how I grew up with an awareness of the world, and love the news. I proudly was among the first 18 year olds allowed to vote, and voted ever since.

My older children, though all are registered to vote, I don't believe have ever voted. I know they don't really keep up with the world at large. They find mom's efforts to a bit comical and a waste of time, I think. They don't worry about things that "don't effect them", if only they knew that those things do. Poppie has lived with me a long time, so my interests have rubbed off on him. We enjoy news feed, history related tv and all things about our world. We have 4 tv's that sort of just run in the background of our lives, and the news channel, the children's channels on two and one that usually has cooking on it. We don't go out of our world alot but  the important outside world events do come in.

Imaging my surprise last month when Booboo,7, says to me, "What happened to the People in the buildings?" We were watching a show on the twin towers when she happened by. I spent the next hour trying to explain it to her on her level. She kept asking very grown up questions well beyond her years. She got all the answers she need and went on with her day. The next week the Tucson event happened and she had to know why the little girl was shot. Who would do that bad thing. Again it was so shocking to me that she would need to know all about the event and be so in need of answers about the little child that lost her life. She has since asked about other news items, why did a daddy kill his children? Where was the momma? I don't restrict her from the news as she is very clearly interested and is needing to know about her world.

A couple of days ago she was talking to me about a little set of twins that joined her class a month ago. She had told me about playing with them several times, how nice they were and just child things about her life at school. But this day was different, she said, "Mamma why do the other kids have to tease Jaylee and Jaylin about there skin color? I said "Why would they?"  She said "because they are like Jesse but they don't have curly hair." I didn't know until that moment they were African American, she had never said they were and it didn't matter that they were to her. In our family, we have alot of different ethnicity's, so it is really never even talked about, and Jesse is a friend of the girls that is also African American, but he is just Jesse. I was so proud of her in the moment, both of the girls for that matter, as neither have ever really seen the twins or Jesse's color. We continued our talk, as she was studying Abraham Lincoln in school, and her teacher had told her that he was trying to help the people "that worked really hard be free" . The teacher may or may not have mentioned that the people "that worked really hard" were African American slaves, I don't know but if she did Booboo didn't get that part. We talked about the bad things that slavery did to the African Americans, she still didn't quite know why skin color would make a difference; but you can bet she won't let her little friends be bullied by anyone at school anymore. She is a strong little mite and helps her sister, the weaker of the two, get on at school and life. She doesn't abide bulling and says so..... tomorrow.